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December 26, 2005

Best of Schlock 2005

This could be known as The Year of the Reissue or The Year Hollywood Made Good. Three flicks on my Top 10 were previously available on lesser DVDs -- two even ranked on past Best of Schlock lists ('00, '01, '02, '03, '04).

The pull between old and new was also revealed in reader voting for the CineSchlockers' Choice award honoring 2005's best genre title. All told, The Devil's Rejects was edged out by Fox's two-disc dive into a veritable plasma pool of bonus features -- earning The Fly: Collector's Edition this year's CineSchlockers' Choice mantle!!!

Congrats to all who made this long-awaited ode a reality! It's certainly on MY list along with nine other must-haves. Here they are in very particular order:

1. High Tension -- Exploiteers have long traded in cheeky warnings or breathless disclaimers pleading with audiences to beware before laying peepers on the flickering horrors ahead. Insta-auteurs Alex Aja and Greg Levasseur could've done the same for High Tension -- and actually meant it. This flick still has yours truly rattled! Huzzah to Lions Gate for laying aside its pride by offering an Unrated alternative to their dubbed disaster, plus enough behind-the-scenes and commentary time with Alex and Geg to make Hills Have Eyes devotees like yours truly anxious to see the Craven classick through their, um, eyes.

2. The Devil's Rejects -- FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBIRD!!! Rob Zombie's murderous motley crew certainly did fly in his impressive sophomore effort that feels less like a House of 1000 Corpses sequel and more like Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch as interpreted by Charlie Manson. This highway to hell alongside three midnight riders on the lam, otherwise known as The Devil's Rejects, also packed on the extra goodies.

3. The Fly -- Fans fussed. Even fumed. Now, there's real reason to buzz. After five long years, Fox finally revisited their double-feature release of The Fly with a double-disc reissue so irresistible that many a CineSchlocker nearly snapped an arm rifling through oodles of extras -- including the infamous monkey-cat scene!!! That's reason alone to earn this year's CineSchlockers' Choice award.

4. Inside Deep Throat -- Documentarians Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato joyfully (and brilliantly) chronicle the Triple-X cultural climax which pushed porn from 42nd Street to Main Street and, more critical to schlockmeisters, abruptly ended the peek 'n' tease era of the Dave Friedmans and Doris Wishmans of the sinema scene. The disc's also packing enough below the digital belt to make Linda Lovelace nervous.

5. Land of the Dead -- Resident Evil. 28 Days Later. A certain remake. We zombiphiles tolerated 'em. OK, even embraced them. But for all their glitter and grue they lacked The Master's touch. That Romero twinkle. No more! Finally, finally -- FINALLY! -- 20 years after Day of the Dead, George made his triumphant return with Land of the Dead and an extra ooey-gooey DVD that hardly disappoints! But my favorite extra? When Shaun met George. The priceless pilgrimage of Shaun of the Dead's Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg to geek out on set with their hero.

6. Predator 2 -- Two years ago, CineSchlock-O-Rama's Most Wanted celebrated the capture of a bare-bones release after an exhausting 62-week critter hunt. This substantial special-edition retrofit revisits that disc's transfer, adds a DTS mix, two commentaries and a second disc of goodies that -- for good or ill -- perhaps only a CineSchlocker would love. Not the least of which being a breathless babblefest by crazy-talk king Gary Busey.

7. Seed of Chucky -- Jennifer Tilly's hilariously self-deprecating and downright brave return as both herself and Chucky's pint-sized paramour makes this a fave. Not to mention that 86-minutes of Ms. Tilly's heaving cleavage can be quite dizzying, especially when compounded by gobs of gore, gut guffaws and the extras to match. Don't miss Jennifer's on-set diary.

8. Skinned Deep -- First-time director Gabe Bartalos crafts a surrealist slasher that's both unique and deceptively familiar. The beyond-bizarro terror tale is populated by a plate-flinging midget, a lovelorn mutant, a geriatric biker gang and a bunch of other freakified stuff CineSchlockers won't believe. Even the final credits are a scream!

9. Triple B Collection Vol. 2 -- Andy and Arlene rebooted their long-stalled, 12-flick Andy Sidaris Collection with a pair of 3-flick bundles of jigglin' joy. Both bodacious sets are packed with the same explosive extras we've come to expect from Andy -- at a bargain 3-for-$20 price point! The nod goes to Volume 2 featuring The Dallas Connection because yours truly opines from Big D (and fears the randy wrath of Julie "Black Widow" Strain).

10. Death Race 2000 -- It's also the year the King of Bs met the King of Cheese. Roger Corman teamed with Mickey Mouse for the first several special edition revamps. What better starting line than David Caradine and Sly Stallone Cannonball Run-ing from coast to coast mowing down pedestrians on a point system? (With geriatrics and infants being the most valuable!) Warms my little black heart to hear Roger and Mary Woronov get all wistful about the good ol' days on their commentary. Hail to the king!

Well, that's my take. Hope you'll check out any flicks you missed. But before wrapping Best of Schlock 2005 completely -- here's a few reader-submitted CineSchlockers' Choice nominees worth sharing with the class ...

Scott nominated:

Cannibal Holocaust 25th Anniversary Edition -- Many have been holding on to hope for quite awhile for this ultimate and definitive CineSchlocker set. And the wait has been incredibly worth it.

For people like me who have never seen the movie, but has heard so much chatter about it, it was a must blind buy purchase. Even if the movie is reviled the world over, for a horror fan, this was a no brainer. Thus, when the announcement was made by Sylvester Stallone's son himself, Sage, and his Grindhouse films, fans clamored and prayed that the release would see the light of day. The light of day it did and it couldn't have been presented in a better set.

2-Discs of nastiness, crudeness, dismemberment, animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, exploration into sanity's requiem, and the most infamous movie making of all time. Ruggero Deodato wanted to shock the world and he did. The movie itself is grotesque, repulsive, and yet you can't look away (and after all isn't that what shocking is all about?).

With interviews and commentary from the director, stars, and others, featurettes, remastered presentation, fandom exploits, collectibles, and so much more...this set is a genre fan's wet dream.

Eric nominated:

Panik House's Pinky Violence Collection has totally tweaked my brain... if my fellow CineSchlockers saw these films (especially Girl Boss Guerilla and Terrifying Girls' School), they'd be voting right along with me here, I think. I'm just so glad that the third (and 4th, 5th, etc.) generation VHS tapes I've been struggling to watch are being replaced with clean, well-transferred DVD versions. Kinda pricey, but a set worth the $$$. Now if only someone would commit to reissuing the entire Nikkatsu catalog.

Joe nominated:

The Stink of Flesh -- This wild wacky sexy zombie bash was a labor of love by my friend Scott Phillips (who wrote the cult classic Drive). If you haven't seen it get a copy now and be sure to listen to the commentary and watch the extras. If you have then you know he somehow made this little gem here in ABQ for $3000 which is less then most people pay for a car.

Lafe nominated:

House of Wax (2005) -- A remake in name only. A great twist on an old title; nice wordplay too. Paris Hilton's demise is worth seeing. The waxification process has been updated for 2005. This movie gave me the creeps; mostly because of the setting -- I'm scared thinking of the place. Great villain too. Good end chase. Great innovative wax special effects. An updated plot for the age of video cameras and cell phones. The DVD is decent; I'm glad to own it.
  Jon nominated:
Fire and Ice from Blue Underground. the movie is decent, but the care in the a/v, the extras like the painting with fire documentary, rotoscoping featurette, have been the deciding points of interest to me. I think this award should go to a DVD that highlights a rare or underappreciated title, not something new (although, there's a lot of great discs out there). Blue Underground seems to understand there's little interest out there for an unheard-of animation film, but with the talents of Bashki and Rosletta, they made an amazing retrospective extras that are actually worth watching.


- Top Twenty DVDs of 2005
- Top Ten TV on DVD Releases of 2005
- Top Twenty Adult DVDs of 2005
- The Best Films Not in Theaters or DVD in 2005
- Top Ten Hollywood Mainstream Movies on DVD in 2005
- Top Ten Independent Releases of 2005
- Top Ten Foreign Releases of 2005
- Top Ten Double-Dip DVDs of 2005
- Top Ten Anime DVDs of 2005
- Top Ten DVD Documentaries of 2005
- Top Ten Best Packaging 2005
- Top Ten Sports DVDs of 2005
- Top Ten DVDs You Won't Find On Any Other Top Ten List in 2005
- Top Ten Obscure/Homemade/Outsider Titles in 2005
- DVD Savant's The Most Impressive DVDs of 2005

Posted by G. Noel Gross at December 26, 2005 10:46 PM

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